To a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and to an L&D professional, everything looks like…

Life through the lens of an Learning and Development Professional - L and D Generous

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail…

Humans being what they are, we all tend to look at life through our own particular lens and interpret things accordingly. This, of course, is no different for Learning and Development professionals, indeed, if you’re anything like me, it seems like everything is seen through ‘L&D Eyes’.

Take my project car for example. I’m no rev-head but I’ve always wanted to fix-up a car, despite having precisely zero skills or experience to do so (you could say that I like a challenge!). Recently, I acquired a 44 year-old busted up jeep and then…well, what then!?!?!

First of all I called my awesome nephew who works in a smash repair centre and got him to come around and give me a bit of face-to-face training, which got me started.

However, as you’d expect, I soon found that there was stuff I needed to do that I didn’t know how to do. Not wanting (or being able) to call on my nephew every time I had a small problem to solve, I hit Google and Youtube for the bits and pieces of instruction I needed. Periodically, my nephew would check in on my progress and provide tips and guidance.

Of course, whilst doing the work I was problem-solving myself and learning LOADS whilst I did what I did.

Over a period of a few months in any spare time I had, I welded (VERY badly but it did the job), I removed rust, I angle-grinded and shaped bits of metal, I used filler (and learned that you should definitely wear gloves when doing this), sprayed the primer and top coat, and did a whole host of other things that I’d never done before.

Throughout this whole process, being the Learning & Development Tragic that I am, I was constantly aware of HOW I was learning and how this applies to the work I do with my clients.

To learn properly, we need structured training from SMEs to get the right knowledge and skills in place, but we also need access to specific learning resources at the very moment we need them, we need advice and guidance from people ‘in the know’, and we need the opportunity to ‘learn as we go’ without fear of negative consequences for failing now and again.

70:20:10 in action!

Now what parallels can a I draw between Learning and Development and the sandwich I’m making for lunch!?!

Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope it was interesting, useful, and worthwhile. Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share.




About the Author:

Sam Russell is a self-confessed Learning & Development tragic. In his work-life, he’s a long-time Australian Learning & Development consultant who works with clients to design, develop and implement ‘end-to-end’ blended capability development solutions. He’s also a keynote speaker on topics including (but not limited to) ‘The future of  organisation learning’‘Simple strategies for maximising transfer of learning to behaviour’, and ‘Speaking C-Suitese, not L&Dese, to win L&D budget approval’.

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